When consoling a child, the best thing a parent can do is be there

WHAT is the best way to console a child when he falls or smashes his finger in the door?

Is it enough to blow on the affected area, or might you need to resort to an ice cream too?

Either, says Dana Mundt, of the German Conference for Child Guidance.

Parents who trust their gut feelings usually know very well what they should do in case of an injury or conflict.

“With children, it often helps just to give them attention, so they see that someone is there to hold them or blow on the painful area,” Mundt says.

The main thing is for mothers and fathers to take the pain seriously and to name the feeling: “Now that really hurt, didn’t it?”

Every now and then, sweets or small toys may be appropriate when it comes to consolation. “Of course, almost everyone knows that from their own childhood,” the expert notes.

However, if parents pull out their wallet for every incident, they will fuel the child’s expectation that there will always be a reward.

Many families resort to consolation rituals, such as blowing or kissing away the pain, sticking on colourful plasters and so on.

It is also possible to distract the child with a song or a rhyme.

In the end, whatever parents choose will make almost no difference.

Stroking and consoling the child – reassuring him or her – will reduce the little one’s stress and give the feeling of security. (dpa)